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Statement from the Religious Coalition for the Freedom to Marry

BOSTON -- Rabbi Devon Lerner, RCFM Co-Chair, issues counter statement, opposes Archbishop Sean P. O'Malley's anti-marriage stance

"At this time, the weekend before the issuing of marriage licenses to same sex couples, we celebrate that these families can now enjoy the rights and protections of civil marriage.

"We are deeply saddened by the Catholic hierarchy's continued atempts to impose it's religious definition of marriage on others. The Catholic hierarchy's truth is not our truth. For the 500 clergy members and congregations of the Religious Coalition for the Freedom to Marry, the foundation of our society rests on these family values: love, commitment, respect and responsibility. These qualities, not gender, define marriage. Gay and lesbian families are a welcome part of the tapestry of our faith communities. While we respect differences in our religious practices, we are one in our support for civil marriage rights for gay and lesbian couples. Civil marriage rights protect families and families formed by same-sex couples should not be denied legal protections.

"Civil marriage rights for same-sex couples will only strengthen all families by giving same-sex couples and their children the same rights and responsibilities, securities and protections that all other families in the Commonwealth take for granted. Denying gay and lesbian families equal marriage would perpetuate discrimination against them. Our society is diminished whenever there is discrimination.

"The Religious Coalition will continue to work tirelessly to preserve the right of equal marriage. We remain confident justice will continue to prevail in the Commonwealth."

About the Religious Coalition for the Freedom to Marry: Comprised of clergy and faith leaders from 18 different faith traditions, including the United Church of Christ, Episcopal, Unitarian Universalist Association and Reform and Reconstructionist Judaism, the Religious Coalition for the Freedom to Marry (RCFM) supports civil marriage rights for same gender couples and seeks to promote dialogue within faith communities about religious marriage for gay and lesbian couples. Since its founding in 1997, the RCFM mobilized more than 550 clergy and congregations from across Massachusetts to sign the "Massachusetts Declaration of Religious Support for the Freedom of Same Gender Couples to Marry." This action has become the model for similar initiatives across the nation. 

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